Full name Professor Subject Date Culture Adaptation Being an international student, there were a lot of struggles that I have been through adapting not just in school but also in the community when I first came to America. Since English is my second language and communication is necessary in everyday affairs, I found speaking to be the most challenging in my adaptation to my new environment…
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Most of the native speakers speak fast maybe because they are used to the language. They take little effort to process the words they listen to and to chose the words they need to use in order to express their thoughts. For me, even telling about myself was a lot of work. I have to think first of the right words to use and simultaneously fear what might be the reaction of the people I speak with if I chose the wrong word. I always wonder if people are able to grasp the message I want to communicate. On my part, I was really having a lot of difficulty understanding English speakers so I thought the might not understand what I was really saying. Luckily, I met other Asian students and I considered it a real comfort to become friends with them. There were those who came to the country earlier than I did and they were a great help, patiently teaching and correcting me in my communication skills. In addition, there were also those who were new who shared the same problems with me. Since we were in the same dilemma, we decided to help each other. We meet together to study, speak to each other and share our experiences in our second language, English. We did everything together because we realized that the easiest way for us to learn as fast as we could is to help each other. Most Americans are always busy and they are easily exhausted trying to understand foreigners speaking their language who are struggling with their words. I think my Asian friends were the ones who could understand my situation and would be able to be patient with me. Aside from meeting with my friends, I also found other ways to help myself improve my English communication skills, like taking extra time to watch movies and newscasts. In this manner, I got used to hearing native speakers and learn new words. For every new word I learned, I found it helpful to write it and find its meaning. Then I try to use the word when I speak with my friends, classmates or other people. Using the new word throughout the day helped me to remember the word and its meaning so my vocabulary increased each day. Also, I tried to imitate the speakers on the way they opened their mouths when they speak and the way they sounded. At first, I usually laughed at myself because I seemed to be a nut. However, as I was increasing my vocabulary, my speaking and listening skills improved as well so I knew I was performing just fine. Whenever I was given things to read, I took time to read quietly and understand the printed material first before I read aloud and listen to my voice as I do so. Whenever there were things I did not understand, I usually consulted the dictionary and sometimes search internet engines especially when I need help with idiomatic expressions. Probably, one of the most difficult things I encountered in the use of the English language is, understanding idiomatic expressions. Oftentimes, I miss sarcasm, humor or whatever is meant by the expressions used in sentences. I tried to read facial expressions of the people around me to try to understand but I know it is not an accurate means to understand orally communicated messages. Sometimes, I think I understand something that was said but whenever I am not sure if I understood correctly, some low self-esteem issues arise. Learning about idiomatic express
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